For the best in eco-entertainment and education, check out these annual green festivals.
PHOTO: COURTESY SOLAR LIVING INSTITUTE
The Green Gazette column focuses on renewable energy living topics, this issue provides a schedule of workshops and annual green festivals.
Summer festivals always have been great places to
vacation, meet new faces and hear great music. Today, lots
of organizations around the country are striving to bring
people together in an open-minded and fun atmosphere
focused on environmental education. Many include workshops,
presentations and forums on renewable energy,
sustainability, organic foods and eco-spirituality. Some of
the festivals, like the Oregon Country Fair and the Great
Hudson River Revival continue their traditions after more
than a quarter-century of celebrating.
With the summer months and warmer weather approaching, now
is a great time to check out some of the green gatherings.
What to bring? Musical instruments, organic and whole
foods, and homemade arts and crafts. Children are welcomed
and encouraged at many of the gatherings listed. But most
importantly, bring a positive attitude and a desire to meet
folks from all over the country who are acting locally, but
thinking globally, as they party for the planet.
Green Events June 2003
Meriden Antique Engine & Threshers Association
Come celebrate the importance of horses on the homestead
throughout history and today. The festival features
horse-powered farm equipment and old-fashioned games on
horseback for the whole family.
The Wild Women's Gathering
Reserve, New Mexico
Women can find a sanctuary to explore their spirituality
and connect with Mother Nature in New Mexico's Gila
Mountains. This gathering allows women to create bonds with
other women and with nature by sharing in workshops,
medicine sweats and riverside dancing.
Health and Harmony Festival
Santa Rosa, California
Five hundred vendors and informational booths help
celebrate the Harmony Festival's 25th anniversary. Events
include an EcoVillage, an international bazaar, a goddess
temple, a "Speak-Your-Peace" soapbox and a natural food
sampling hall, plus music all day on four stages.
Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living
This three-day gathering includes more than 100 workshops
and demonstrations about renewable energy and sustainable
living, as well as entertainment for families. Celebrate
the summer solstice at the world's largest sustainable
energy festival, which is partially powered by the
renewable energy systems on display.
Great Hudson River Revival
Westchester County, New York
Since 1966, this festival has featured performers from a
wide range of contemporary, ethnic and traditional musical
styles. Fish puppets, drumming and workshops on sustainable
energy, yoga, tai chi and meditation accompany the live
music on seven different stages. Proceeds support research
and advocacy for the Hudson River.
Colorado Renewable Energy Society
Learn how energy independence and security, renewable
energy technology and policy, and alternative
transportation can lead to community prosperity. The
keynote speaker is Dennis Weaver, founder of The Institute
of Ecolonomics, an organization working to create an
Taos Solar Music Festival
Taos, New Mexico
Located in the solar capital of the world, the Taos Music
Festival brings people together to work toward changing our
society's wasteful energy consumption. The festival
features bands and interactive renewable energy displays.
Bike Summer 2003
June 27-July 26
New York City
In between two Critical Mass bike rides on June 27 and July
25, this month-long celebration of bicycling includes bike
culture and street theater events, art workshops, speakers
and camping trips.
Green Events July 2003
Sooke, British Columbia
People of all ages can explore natural and primitive
skills, as well as gain an understanding of the underlying
philosophy behind these ways of life. Main events feature
drumming, wilderness survival, nature art and awareness,
and the medicine wheel.
Festival for the Eno
Durham, North Carolina
This environmental education festival features updates on
recycling and composting, as well as information about the
Eno River's ecology. The Eno River Association's main
fundraiser includes three days of music, craft shows and
food on the river's banks.
Oregon Country Fair
Music and entertainment, workshops on renewable energy and
booths featuring Oregon history comprise this 34-year-old
festival. Environmental education, renewable energy and
resource conservation are topics to explore, as well as the
festival's public art, meditation area, on-site sauna and
12 stages of music.
SolarFest Renewable Energy Festival
Enjoy workshops on sustainable energy, off-grid living and
environmentally sound transportation. Musicians perform on
two stages and tours are available of the renewable energy
systems that power the festival.
SolWest Renewable Energy Fair
John Day, Oregon
The most comprehensive energy fair in the Pacific Northwest
includes workshops and exhibits on renewable energy and
self-reliant, sustainable living. An Electrathon race
features efficient vehicle technology.
Green Events August 2003
Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer
Workshops for adults, children and teens focus on organic
farming and homesteading. The conference also features
animal husbandry, herbs and flowers, nutrition, sustainable
building, home-schooling and organic activism.
Southwest Renewable Energy Fair
Following the Southwest Renewable Energy Conference, August
7-8, the fair offers a product expo of renewable energy
technology, speakers, a kids' fair, and tours of solar and
Illinois Renewable Energy Fair
Meet experts of renewable energy technology and services,
attend workshops on saving energy and build community
support for incorporating renewable energy into daily life.
Learn about creating a more sustainable home, business,
farm or community.
Southern Energy & Environment
Fletcher, North Carolina
Workshops and presentations feature information on green
businesses in the Southeast. The expo includes solar
energy, wind power, small-scale hydroelectric systems,
alternative building techniques and community activism.
Children's activities, entertainment and camping are
Learn the latest developments in renewable energy systems,
such as solar roofing, hydrogen fuel cells and sustainable
building materials, while kids participate in art projects.
This year's festival will focus on community, with
information on sustainable communities, shared-housing
developments, and sustainable food and farming.
Twirl Oaks Communities Conference
August 29-September 1
Share and learn practical tools for incorporating
sustainability and activism into your daily life and
community. The three-day camp-out includes workshops by day
and a dance party and fire circles by night. Organizers
encourage input about the conference's content and
Green Events September 2003
Seattle Tilth Organic Harvest Fair
Booths full of organic produce and homemade food, food
demonstrations, and entertainment and workshops on organic
farming mark this year's Harvest Fair.
Common Ground Country Fair
Started in 1977, the fair features organic farmers and
livestock, natural foods, live music and entertainment,
basic gardening skills, folk arts and crafts, and tools for
The festival opens with a barn dance and includes speakers,
artists, workshops, music, guided prairie walks, camping,
and children's activities focused on sustainability and
Texas Renewable Energy Roundup
More than 75 exhibits and 70 free presentations are
available. The festival also includes musical acts, guided
tours of organic farms and ranches, workshops on renewable
energy and energy saving, and children's activities.
Apple Festival 2003
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
About 150 varieties of organic apples are on display at the
Apple Festival. Apple tasting, baking, history and
identification complement opportunities to tour 14
Green Events October 2003
Austin, Texas and November 8-9
San Francisco, California
The festival brings together green entrepreneurs,
environmental community organizations and the public in an
effort to share information about strengthening local
sustain able economies. The event includes a benefit
concert on Saturday evening and workshops on community
supported agriculture, the Fair Trade movement, renewable
energy companies and farmers' markets. A career center with
tips on job placement also is available.
San Rafael, California
Join fellow biological pioneers in this three-day event
that presents sustainable models of living and a host of
environmental resources. The conference includes guest
speakers, interactive workshops and nightly entertainment.
For more events, check out MOTHER'S Calendar at
http://www.motherearthnews.com . Click on "Community" and
then "Event Calendar."